The Pomodoro Technique. Recently I have been on an Aweber e.mail marketing webinar series and discovered a very simple, yet highly effective and fun way of managing time for work tasks and a variety of other activities.
The speaker shared this technique, which I hadn’t heard of before. On investigating further though, there is a fair bit of information out there on the Pomodoro Technique.
In the late 1980s, Francesco Cirillo was at university and trying to find a way to stay focused on his studies, on the task at hand rather than being seduced by the distractions and all the potentially more enjoyable activities that are forever vying for attention while you are trying to work.
What he discovered was beautifully simple but effective – his mother’s tomato shaped kitchen timer (Pomodoro is Italian for tomato). He would time 25 minute intervals to focus only and purely on one task.
The essence of the Pomodoro Technique is that it eliminates the desire to attempt to multitask. (Researchers are now discovering that the concept of multitasking is overrated. Much like a computer CPU, the human brain does not so much multitask but rather switches from task to task and thought to thought extremely quickly. This switching can have a negative effect on concentration and results).
The Pomodoro Technique user (by the action of setting the timer) is forced to become aware of distractions during a session, rather than be pulled mindlessly from distraction to distraction throughout the day. (The mind tends to go to the loudest noise).
There is also no need to worry that an interesting distraction or idea will be forgotten. Built into the technique is the allowance to quickly write every distracting thought or idea down, to save for later or as a reward during one of the breaks.
Writing a distraction down means that you don’t have to worry about forgetting the exciting idea, you merely save it and then can get straight back to the task at hand with a clear head.
Using a standard kitchen timer (The Pomodoro Technique website sells their own cool tomato shaped one) or software timer, the emphasis is on low-tech and simplicity rather than a load of unnecessary functionality. The regular 5 minute breaks are intended as a reward period, where the noted distractions are permitted to be indulged in and for improvement of mental agility.
Watch this video clip on the technique and continue reading below:
The following are the six points to a successful “Pomodoro”:
- Decide on the task you’d like to work on
- Wind up or set your timer (physical or software based)
- Work on the one task only, until the timer sounds
- Put a tick or X on your piece of paper to show one Pomodoro completed
- If your checkmarks total less than four, then take a five minute break and repeat
- Once a set of four Pomodoros have been completed, take a longer break of ten or fifteen minutes and start a new set if you want to
For more on the Pomodoro Technique, click here to go to the official site where there is a whole host of information including ideas on what to do in the breaks, further reading and even courses you can take (though you can get started right now, simply with a timer and a pen and paper).
I have started to use the technique and highly recommend it. It encourages you to focus on and complete tasks, it gives you a sense of achievement and progress and after a while, you are able to predict how many “Pomodoros” it will take to complete a certain activity.
It is also amazing to see just how many ideas (or distractions) pop into your head when you are trying to focus on finishing one thing. The fact you are encouraged to write them down for later though, means you know you are not missing out on something else while you concentrate.
I hope the Pomodoro Technique works for you too! Try it out! Also, if you have not yet got your free 7-part video series on how to change your life and make a digital income, click here and enter your name and best e.mail address so that you can receive the first video straight to your inbox.
Catch you soon..